Tuesday 6 March 2012

Bunny Blogging

Fern, one of our original Does
Penny such a cute doe
 Last year this time I was making plans for the arrival of rabbits.  These were not being purchased as pets, or, to show, but for meat production.  My goal was to supplement the dogs diet with healthy raised meats, however, I certainly wasn't opposed to adding a rabbit dinner to our menu occasionally.  I am extremely pleased with my results to date.  I started with four does and two bucks, by early summer the oldest two were bred and by the first week in December we had raised a total of forty-three rabbits, wow!  Of those, 41 were processed for the freezer and two does I kept to add to my breeding stock, they are pictured here, the lovely Daphne below and her half sister Penelope above. 

Daphne tucks into some greens
 Rabbits are overlooked in North America as a protein source, which is a shame as there are so many pluses to them.  They are quiet, clean, mine have been very healthy not a sniffle amongst them.  Inexpensive to feed, I supplement their diet with an alfalfa pellet along with plenty of grass hay to munch and greens from the kitchen & garden along with oats and black oil sunflower seeds.  This morning they were excited to receive romaine lettuce, carrots and fennel trimmings from the salad we had for dinner yesterday, the fennel was relished, rabbits love the taste of anise.

Some facts about Rabbits

  •  Cholesterol level in rabbit meat is much lower than chicken, turkey, beef, pork. (Alabama A & M University 1989)
  •  Rabbit is lower in percentage of fat than chicken, turkey, beef, and pork. (U S D A circular # 549)
  • Rabbit has 795 calories per pound. Chicken 810, Veal 840, Turkey 1190, Lamb 1420, Beef 1440, Pork 2050. ( U S D A circular # 549 )
  • A doe rabbit that weighs 10 pounds can produce 320 pounds of meat in a year. This is more than a cow and it takes 2 acres of land to raise a cow.
  • Rabbits will produce 6 pounds of meat on the same feed and water as a cow will produce 1 pound of meat on the same feed and water.
  • Baby rabbits feed off mothers milk so rich that they can double their weight in 6 short days as compared to a pig at 14 days, calves 47 days, and humans 160 days.
  • Rabbits lend themselves to both small and large scale production.
  • Rabbit meat is all white meat.
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